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Engineers inspect Washington National Cathedral

These folks almost make engineering look like  . . . fun.

AP reports:

WASHINGTON — The same engineers who captivated tourists by rappelling down the Washington Monument are conducting a similar operation at the National Cathedral.

Two members of the team began rappelling down a 234-foot tower at the front of the cathedral Monday afternoon. The engineers are looking for damage caused by a 5.8-magnitude earthquake that shook the nation's capital on Aug. 23.

The cathedral also sustained damage during Hurricane Irene a few days later.

Last week, stone masons removed two tons of stonework from a pinnacle of the cathedral that had been damaged. Three of the four pinnacles on the central tower, which date to 1963, were severely damaged in the earthquake.

Previous PhotoBlog posts on the National Cathedral.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Katie Francis, a member of the Difficult Access Team from Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, inspects a gargoyle while rappelling down one of the north tower on the west front of the National Cathedral while looking for damage from August's magnitude 5.8 earthquake and high winds from Hurricane Irene October 17 in Washington, DC. DAT members used cameras, cell phones and iPad computers to record places on the cathedral's west front where damage was apparent.



Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Katie Francis (L) and Emma Cardini, members of the Difficult Access Team from Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, use rapelling ropes to scale down one of the towers on the west front of the National Cathedral while looking for damage from August's magnitude 5.8 earthquake and high winds from Hurricane Irene October 17 in Washington, DC.

Manuel Balce Ceneta / AP

Members of the difficult access team of engineers Katie Francis, left, and Emma Cardini rappel down the facade of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, Monday, Oct. 17.